April 28, 2017

Does this blog still exist? 4 years later...

So, 4 years have gone by. I completely forgot about this blog.

March 10, 2013

Dog Wearing Cone Gets Scratched with Foot

Our dog has allergies. Every spring time, he gets really itchy. He will literally lick and scratch himself until he has rashes hence the BIG, BRIGHT, and UGLY CONE! He hates the cone but LOVES getting scratched. Every time I start scratching him in a place he can't really reach while wearing the cone, he will follow my foot. It's one of the funniest things! I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do!

January 08, 2013

Q & A: Being Vegan

I (Michael speaking) have been getting requests from multiple people asking me why I chose to stop eating animal products and have converted my eating lifestyle into that of Vegan.  Here it goes...

About 2 years ago (March 2010), my wife and I were introduced to The China Study, a book that explains why eating 20% animal products will increase the risk of getting cancer.

After reading the book, we decided that we didn't want to increase the risk of dying young so we completely changed the way we thought about food and what we consumed on a daily basis. Without the decision and support of my wife, it would be extremely difficult to live this amazing lifestyle. I am SO glad we've changed our eating habits and can say that we haven't been sick for the last 2 years and feel better than ever!
So Are You Allowed to Eat...?
We are allowed to eat whatever we want. We are choosing to eat the way that we do. There are no limitations and we feel confident and happy with all of our choices. We do not feel deprived. We do not have cravings for things we "can't" have because we can have whatever we want.
At the time of reading The China Study, we had a Vitamix but really never used it. We didn't know how to use it. So in effort to learn as much about the benefits of eating more raw, organic fruits and vegetables, we came across many videos, books, and pamphlets on why eating this way was better.

We found a video called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead which is a fantastic documentary on the benefits of juicing raw fruits and vegetables. I recommend you ALL watch this video at least once. It is very inspiring. There is another link to watch this video at the end of this post.

We also watched videos on YouTube from Jay Kordich, Dan MacDonald (Life Regenerator), and many more just to get an idea as to why people ate this way.

After hearing and seeing the physical benefits (inside and out) we got extremely motivated and started using our Vitamix at least once a day. We were making healthy and delicious smoothies. Our favorite green smoothie (and still to this day) is Shrek Juice. (I know the name is "juice" but it's actually a smoothie)

Shrek Juice
1 Cup Green Grapes
1/2 Fuji Apple (keep the peel and the seeds)
1 Handful Fresh Spinach (or more if desired)
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup of Frozen Pineapple
Directions: Blend everything on high speed for 2 minutes, making sure the smoothie stays cold. If it starts getting warmer, the smoothie is done. Enjoy.

The best thing about the Shrek Juice is that you can hide spinach in it and you can't even taste it! We have made this recipe for many different people and they have all enjoyed it.

Click here for a list of juice recipes that have been tried and tested over the past 2 years.

What is the Difference Between Smoothies and Juices?
So...the above recipe is for a smoothie. All of the ingredients are blended together (with the fiber intact) to make one cold and deliciously-thick smoothie. Juicing, on the other hand, extracts the fiber from the fruits and vegetables, leaving you with a smooth and easily digestible liquid.

Why I Prefer Juicing Fruits and Vegetables
Have you ever tried eating 10 lbs of raw fruits and vegetables in 1 day? If you have, then you'll know how difficult it is! This is where juicing comes to play. Extracting all of the fiber from fruits and vegetables allows you tap into 95% of the food value: the juice. Yes, fiber is very important when it comes to digestion but do you really think that you need ALL the fiber that comes from 10 lbs of fruits and vegetables? You don't. A typical eating lifestyle should consist of about 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.

Where Do I Get My Fiber?
So what I do is I juice raw, living foods and then consume a small supplement of psyllium husk powder or chia seeds daily that gives me the fiber I need. It's working out very well for me and I know it will work well for you.

Won't Juicing Raise My Blood Sugar?
Any time you eat or drink food...your blood sugar levels raise and lower. This is how the body uses food as energy. Juicing raw fruits will raise your blood sugar but you won't experience the nasty "shaking" or feel the need to drink another juice to calm yourself, like you would after an hour or so of drinking coffee and soda. This is because the sugars found in raw, fresh fruit juices haven't been stripped of all their nutrients. If you're interested in juicing raw fruits and vegetables, start by making a juice with more fruits than vegetables. This will help curve your tastebuds into enjoying these juices. Then, after a week or so, try adding spinach to your juice. Add a small amount here and there to slowly get used to the flavor.

I can't tell you how many videos I've watched where they tell you that when you start off juicing for the first time, that you should juice only vegetables. This will help your blood sugar to not rise so high (since many vegetables are very low in calories).  But to me, doing this will only tell your tastebuds that juicing isn't fun and that the juices don't taste good. Adding more fruits than vegetables will help you get into the habit of juicing while keeping you interested.

When I first read The China Study, I searched on YouTube for some smoothie recipes. I  watched a "Life Regenerator" video where Dan MacDonald blended in his Vitamix: water, kale, banana, and Lamb's Quarters. You would think that adding bananas would make something taste great, right? Well...it was the grossest drink I've ever had! I'm now to the point where I can mix: spinach, kale, parsley, broccoli, ginger, apple and I think it's the best juice ever :) So stick with it. It gets better

Diet vs Eating Lifestyle
If you're read to this far, you may have noticed that I haven't used the word "diet." In my opinion, all diets end.  Many people who start a diet eventually go back to their old eating habits and gain 5 to 10 lbs more fat than when they started.  I prefer the term eating lifestyle because it involves a way of decision making and lifestyle choices. But I will let you decide what you choose to call your way of eating:

DIEt
Eating LIFEstyle

Do I Drink Naked Juices or Pre-packaged Smoothies?
In short, no. The reason? I prefer drinking juices and smoothies that are fresh. Did you know that the term pasteurized means that the product has been cooked to keep it from going bad? Did you know that cooking foods kills many of the living nutrients and vitamins? With the popular Naked juices, I was always wondering why they lasted for up to 3 months on the shelf. I had to look hard at the label to find the "gently pasteurized" line of text.  I choose to juice my own fruits and vegetables that I know are still living, rather than drinking juices that have been cooked and have been sitting on a shelf for 1 month or more.

Where Do I Get My Vitamin B12?
Since there aren't any plants that naturally come with vitamin B12, I drink my occasional Costco Organic Vanilla Soymilk since they include Vitamin B12 in that soymilk. Vitamin B12 is important but unfortunately you won't see any deficiencies for up to a year! If you're concerned about making sure you're getting all of your daily vitamins, be sure to buy a multi vitamin and take it daily.

Here is a list of the nutrients and vitamins found in fruits and vegetables.

Protein
Calorie vs Calorie, spinach has more protein than beef.  I get my protein from:

1) Green Leafy Vegetables (spinach, kale, parsley, etc)
2) Whole Wheat Bread
3) Soybeans (organic vanilla soymilk), tofu
4) Nuts and seeds (peanuts, almonds) - Main source of fat (protein is an added benefit)
5) Fruits

It is a common misconception that when you're trying to lose weight or gain muscle that you need 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. I have read from many difference sources that you need between 50 to 80 grams of protein per day. I have nothing against doctors and I'm not a doctor myself but how many doctors can you list that know much about nutrition itself? Most of them know a lot of about how to fix symptoms with some sort of man-made drug, but how many of them can actually cure a disease with the use of fruits and vegetables?

Fats
Good, healthy fats are vital in a healthy eating lifestyle.  From Livestrong.com:

"Fat is an essential nutrient required for many bodily functions. The brain is 60 percent fat, and fats are needed for memory, learning, mood and fetal brain development during pregnancy. Fats protect and insulate nerves, help keep the heart beating in a normal rhythm, keep the lungs from collapsing and cushion your internal organs. Fats slow digestion, provide a source of energy and satisfy the appetite for longer periods. Fats also make possible the absorption of vitamins A,D, E and K."

What Do You Eat?
Here is a list of what I eat/blend/juice in any particular day (I don't eat all these foods every day):

1 lb spinach
4 kale leaves
1 thumb-size piece of ginger
8 fuji apples
2 Beets
10+ Carrots
2 Slices of Whole Wheat/whole grain bread
3 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
1 Cup Brown rice
1 Tomato
4 Leaves of Lettuce
1/2 Can of Black beans
1/2 Can of Kidney beans
8 Ounces of Organic Vanilla Soymilk
Rice protein powder, Clif builder's bar - chocolate mint
72+ ounces of water

My calorie intake is about 3,000 with around 550 calories burned from exercise resulting in approximately 2,500 daily.

Other items I eat occasionally are:
3/4 Cup Oats (uncooked)
3/4 Cup to 2 Cups of Whole Grain Cereals
1 Cup Salsa (rarely)
Original and Guacamole Hummus from Trader Joes
Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip aka "Vegan Ice Cream" from Trader Joes
(Awesome) Vegan Cookies - Here's the cookie recipe

With the cookies recipe above, I found out that you can use the base of the recipe (everything but the chocolate chips) as both an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe AND what I call the BEST snicker doodle cookies recipe ever!

For the oatmeal raisin, simply put about 1/2 to 1 Cup of oats in the mix along with 1 Cup Raisins and a dash of both nutmeg and cinnamon.

For the snicker doodles, just roll the dough in cinnamon and sugar (I don't have the exact amount) and bake. You can even sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top before baking too.

I have found that these cookies don't flatter out like regular cookies so before baking, simply press them down with a spatula. Cooking time will depend on your altitude. Here in L.A., for a 1 inch ball, they take about 15 minutes.

Organic vs Non Organic

We choose to buy organic whenever possible. Buying foods that haven't been genetically modified (GMO) means that you're buying and eating foods the way God intended.  Look for the USDA Organic seal on fruits and vegetables that you purchase. This will guarantee their lack of harmful chemicals and pesticides added by your "un-trustworthy" food companies.


Can You Ever Go Out to Eat?
Going out to eat can be very hard on an eating lifestyle especially when it comes to calorie intake, nutrients, vitamins, and more. My wife and I have found a few fantastic places that serve meals that actually taste good while not using any animal products. To name a few:

1) Chipotle (website)
2) The Veggie Grill (website)
3) Sun Cafe (in the Burbank, CA area)

1) If you're stopping by Chipotle, I recommend getting a burrito with Black beans, brown rice, fajitas, green sauce (medium heat), guacamole, lettuce. I get this 80% of the time and am not tired of it yet!

2) If you're stopping by The Veggie Grill, I recommend the Santa Fe Crispy Chickin' with a side of Sweetheart Fries, and for dessert their Chocolate Pudding Parfait with Walnuts. You can grab one of their amazing Chocolate Chip cookies too. They're delicious.

3) If you're in the Burbank area and want to stop by the Sun Cafe, I recommend getting the mexican pizza with the pita crust, with a side of hummus and pita chips. Sounds like a lot of pita but it all tastes SO good. To drink, I recommend the Shamrock shake (tastes similar to mint chocolate chip).

Should I Eat Fat-Free Foods to Lose Weight?
The problem I've found with fat-free foods is that in order to remove the fat, companies pack on extra sugar. If your body doesn't use that sugar (which it probably won't), it will store the remaining sugar as FAT. So if you're looking to lose weight, do not, I repeat, do not choose fat free foods. Instead, choose foods that have healthy fats such as nuts and avocados. The good kinds of fats actually help transport nutrients to your body and help you lose weight!

Do You Exercise?
I try to exercise 4 to 6 times a week. Some weeks I work out more than others and that's something that I'm really trying to get better at doing.

Here are the 4 things I've found that I need on a daily basis that help me feeling great:

1) Good night sleep
2) Proper amount of nutrition
3) Drinking enough water
4) Exercising

When I don't get a good night sleep, that throws my whole schedule off. I recommend getting at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night.

From everything I've read and studied, I know that my way of eating is what is making me feel great most of the time. I am not perfect and there have been times when I eat something that has a little butter or milk in it and those are the times where I get headaches.

The best piece of advice I can give someone would be to make the eating lifestyle change today. Don't wait until Monday to start. Start now. If you're really motivated to lose weight and to feel great, you will start working at it right now. Example: If you're drinking a soda, throw it away. Replace it with water.

You can do little things today that will make a big difference tomorrow.

If you're motivated to start making healthy smoothies and juices, here are a few links that will help you on your way! I hope you've found this article helpful and interesting and if you have any questions don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

1) Buy a Vitamix
2) Buy the Breville Juice Fountain Plus Juicer






3) Buy organic fruits and vegetables
4) Watch Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - A documentary on the benefits of juicing raw fruits and vegetables

May 03, 2012

Francis Lawrence is directing Catching Fire!

It's official Francis Lawrence, director of I Am Legend and Water for Elephants, will be directing The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Also, some exciting news about The Hunger Games...they've made Gross: $601,240,943 (Worldwide). That's a really successful number.

April 30, 2012

Can Anyone Say...

Stripling Warriors?



Let your kids eat as many bananas as they want! :)

March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games was amazing, I'm going again with Michael tonight and some ladies tomorrow. haha.

March 15, 2012

Green Bean Casserole

A special request for mom!

Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:
1 can green beans
3/4 cup Soy Milk
4 oz. Better than Cream Cheese
1 Portabella Mushroom
1/2 tsp. Corn Starch
1/3 cup French Fried Onions
1 Tbs. Olive oil
1 tsp. Garlic Salt

Preheat oven to 350. Blend soymilk, cream cheese, corn starch, and 1/2 the portabella mushroom until smooth. Pour in large bowl. Chop portabella mushroom and sauté in olive oil and garlic salt until soft. Add sautéed mushrooms, green beans, and 1/2 the French fried onions to the milk mixture and stir. Pour in casserole dish and bake for 25min, stir, top with last fried onions, and bake again for 5 min. Serve.

The Hunger Games

I got my Hunger Games tickets for 12:15am. I'm going late night on the 22nd. Yay!

March 14, 2012

More Hunger Games!

The Hunger Games IMDB has added like 30 new photos and a few more videos, including the apple scene! Michael and I got the chills! I have to be Johanna Mason! I would fit right in with this crowd. ha ha.

March 07, 2012

The Appearing

Hey guys, recently I filmed in The Appearing. A horror/thriller with an exorcist theme directed by Daric Gates. The film is staring the following people: Will Wallace (my coach), Don Sawyze (He's so nice and Patrick Swayze brother which is pretty cool), Quinton Aaron, and Dean Cain. This is my first feature film I've been a part of and the best name value that I've had the opportunity to work with so far. I didn't get to work with any of them directly, but I hear that they're all really wonderful and very nice. I was the news reporter and I really enjoyed myself and I realized how much I really love working on a set. It was also a small amount of crew that day so it was totally chill and awesome. My part was shot in Malibu. I also saw some of the stills shots from filming and it looks amazing! It was a blast!

December 22, 2011

May the odds be ever in your favor!





Hunger Games IMDB (Super Bowl Trailer - New Footage and Pictures on website.)

December 21, 2011

Similac


I just received this in the mail. I didn't order it. And as far as I know, I'm not expecting. I guess the Lord really DOES work in mysterious ways :) hahaha Breann is going to freak when she reads this blog post - Michael

December 20, 2011

Megamind


I seriously loved this movie. It reminded me a lot of Monsters Vs. Aliens. Super funny, good music, good fun. I loved it! Watch it. I want to own this!!! ha ha.

December 16, 2011

I Thought This Was Me...


I found this on the web. I thought it was me. It's not. But if I didn't tell you it wasn't, would you think it was?

December 14, 2011

Table Read (Moss)

It's official. I'm attending a table read tomorrow at 1pm. Pray for me!

December 11, 2011

Table Read again!

Hey guys, Hopefully, I'm doing another table read for the same role this week. I'm going to take a private lesson with my acting coach to make sure I'm much more prepared than last time. Pray for me to do well because I really want this part and it would be great experience for me. That and I'd have a really nice long scene one on one with the lead talent. The director and writers (Brian Strine and David Hosler) are considering Kiefer Sutherland for the lead. This could add some name value to my own. So please pray for me to get this part (Role-Abigail in the script "Moss"). I would really like some work and experience in my field. Thank you for supporting me. xoxo!

November 25, 2011

Trudy's Taco Soup (Vegan style)

This soup was inspired by Blaire Ostler's Mother-in-law.

1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 cans chili beans
1 tsp. garlic salt
3 Tbs. taco seasoning

Do not strain anything. Mix ingredients in crock pot. let simmer on high for 6 hours. Serve with Fritos corn chips and chopped avocados.

November 21, 2011

Audition

So I botched the cold read, I was asked to improvise and he loved it when I did. They asked me to come in and audition again with the lines memorized. This will be good. Thanks for caring guys. I hope I get this one. I really like the character.

November 20, 2011

Table Read

The Table Read went very well. I got a lot of positive feedback on my work and they loved me. They're bringing me in for an audition for a different role today. The other role required nudity and Dawn, the wonderful lady who brought me in to read, told him that I don't do that and then suggested me for the role Abigail instead. If they didn't like my work they wouldn't even bother. This is a very good sign and they seemed excited to get me to read for it before the writer has to leave. Pray for me to grasp this new character well. Thank you. Your prayers seem to be working. :)

November 18, 2011

Managing Cravings

I have been vegan for about 5 months now and I haven't had a craving for about 2 months until now. I just realized it's because I've waiting until 3:30pm to have a proper lunch. Feed yourselves good food! Love you guys. xoxo

See it tonight!

November 17, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad (Clyde and Patti)! Have fun night out tonight. We love you both :)

Table Read

This Saturday I have a VERY important table read for what I believe is a strong-supporting role in a multi-million dollar film. They're still looking for name value. Name value = better distribution, better distribution = I become more of a name value if I'm in the film. This is how I've heard the pros do it. They don't audition, they table read. A lovely woman in the business named Dawn Krantz called me and invited me to this. She said there's no guarantee but that it's a great opportunity for actors like me. She's one of the producers who is very excited about the project Red Wing and I think she's very interested in my success. This could potentially be another really big boost to build up my career. So if you could please pray for me to do very well at this table read that would really mean a lot to me. Thank you guys for supporting me.

November 16, 2011

Portobello Mushroom Bowl

This one is really easy, fast, and tasty.

1 Portobello mushroom
Uncle Bens (long grained wild rice)
Olive oil

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Cut stem off mushroom, discard, poke holes in the center of the mushroom, and steam for 5 min. Prepare rice by the instructions with olive oil. Put 1-2 tbs olive oil in cap of mushroom try to spread evenly. Then fill the cap with the finished rice and place in oiled casserole dish and bake for 5 min. Serve and enjoy.

This makes one serving, but the total rice can fill up to 3 caps.

Optional: I sauted some some small diced veggies including red onions, garlic, and peppers and mixed it in the rice and it was delicious.